Senator Godswill Akpabio says oil firms operating in the Niger Delta have defaulted in their statutory remittances to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the tune of $4 billion.
Akpabio, who is the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, made the claim on Thursday at the weekly ministerial briefing held at the State House in Abuja.
He noted that oil firms operating in the area are expected to provide three percent of their annual budgets to the commission, but none has complied with this.
Akpabio stressed that the Ministry of Niger Delta will take a keen interest in the implementation of the three percent Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) compensation to host communities.
The former Akwa Ibom governor also stated that the NDDC owes contractors three ₦3 trillion. He, however, explained that not all awarded contracts with costs can be regarded as debt.
On the progress made so far in the Commission, the Niger Delta minister disclosed that about 109 projects – which would be commissioned soon – have been implemented in the South-South.
Funds from the Niger Delta Ministry – which was established in 2008 with a hundred ₦200 billion – shrank to ₦19 billion in 2020 and then rose slightly to ₦24 billion in 2021.
The minister revealed that ₦10 billion – out of the allocated fund – has been dedicated to fix the East-West Road.